Special Collection: Molecular Imaging
- Ultrasound molecular imaging has been developed in the past two decades with the goal of non-invasively imaging disease phenotypes on a cellular level not depicted on anatomic imaging. Such techniques already play a role in pre-clinical research for the assessment of disease mechanisms and drug effects, and are thought to in the future contribute to earlier diagnosis of disease, assessment of therapeutic effects and patient-tailored therapy in the clinical field. In this review, we first describe the chemical composition and structure as well as the in vivo behavior of the ultrasound contrast agents that have been developed for molecular imaging.
- The aim of this study was to evaluate a panel of endothelium-targeted microbubble (MB) ultrasound contrast agents bearing small peptide ligands as a human-ready approach for molecular imaging of markers of high-risk atherosclerotic plaque. Small peptide ligands with established affinity for human P-selectin, VCAM-1, LOX-1 and von Willebrand factor (VWF) were conjugated to the surface of lipid-stabilized MBs. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) molecular imaging of the thoracic aorta was performed in wild-type and gene-targeted mice with advanced atherosclerosis (DKO).
- Reported in this study is an animal model system for evaluating targeted ultrasound (US) contrast agents binding using adenoviral (Ad) vectors to modulate cellular receptor expression. An Ad vector encoding an extracellular hemagglutinin (HA) epitope tag and a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter was used to regulate receptor expression. A low and high receptor density (in breast cancer tumor bearing mice) was achieved by varying the Ad dose with a low plaque forming unit (PFU) on day 1 and high PFU on day 2 of experimentation.